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The age of exploration is not over. When Adam Shoalts ventured into the largest unexplored wilderness on the planet, he hoped to set foot where no one had ever gone before. What he discovered surprised even him. Shoalts was no stranger to the wilderness. He had hacked his way through jungles and swamp, had stared down polar bears and climbed mountains. But one spot on the map called out to him irresistibly: the Hudson Bay Lowlands, a trackless expanse of muskeg and lonely rivers, caribou and wolf—an Amazon of the north, parts of which to this day remain unexplored. Cutting through this forbidding landscape is a river no explorer, trapper, or canoeist had left any record of paddling. It was this river that Shoalts was obsessively determined to explore. It took him several attempts, and years of research. But finally, alone, he found the headwaters of the mysterious river. He believed he had discovered what he had set out to find. But the adventure had just begun. Unexpected dangers awaited him downstream. Gripping and often poetic, Alone Against the North is a classic adventure story of single-minded obsession, physical hardship, and the restless sense of wonder that every explorer has in common. But what does exploration mean in an age when satellite imagery of even the remotest corner of the planet is available to anyone with a phone? Is there anything left to explore? What Shoalts discovered as he paddled downriver was a series of unmapped waterfalls that could easily have killed him. Just as astonishing was the media reaction when he got back to civilization. He was crowned "Canada's Indiana Jones" and appeared on morning television. He was feted by the Royal Canadian Geographical Society and congratulated by the Governor General. People were enthralled by Shoalts's proof that the world is bigger than we think. Shoalts's story makes it clear that the world can become known only by getting out of our cars and armchairs, and setting out into the unknown, where every step is different from the one before, and something you may never have imagined lies around the next curve in the river. From the Hardcover edition.
Will Ferguson's first book in three years, following on the back-to-back successes of How to Be a Canadian (over 110,000 copies sold) and Happiness™ (Winner of the Leacock Medal for Humour). Will Ferguson has spent the past three years criss-crossing Canada and back again. In a helicopter above the barrenlands of the sub-Arctic, in a canoe with his four-year-old son, aboard seaplanes and along the Underground Railroad, Will's travels have taken him from Cape Spear on the coast of Newfoundland to the sun-dappled streets of Olde Victoria. In his last book, Will told us how to be Canadian; now in this book, he will tell us what it means to be Canadian. And what Will finds out along the way is that Canada in its development and in its current state is really a series of outposts -- not only geographically but culturally. Will's journey takes him to far-flung isolated communities as well as deep into Canada's urban centres. From the "million-acre farm" that is P.E.I. to the tobacco belt of southern Ontario, from the architectural mess that is Montreal to the glorious jumble that is St. John's, from a renegade republic in northwestern New Brunswick to a tundra buggy in the polar bear migration paths of Hudson Bay, Will explodes the myths of who we are. Funny, poignant and insightful, Beauty Tips from Moose Jaw is a provocative tribute to our quirky and fascinating country. Excerpt from Beauty Tips from Moose Jaw In one particular seedy St. John's pub, I was adopted by a work crew from Portugal Cove who took an immediate, almost antagonistic liking to me. "You're from Alberta, you say? I have a cousin in Fort McMurray, maybe you know him." (Everybody in Newfoundland has a cousin in Fort McMurray.) The crew from Portugal Cove tormented me with screech and second-hand smoke as they regaled me with tales of how their families were so poor "back when" that all they could afford to eat were lobsters. This was not the first time I had heard this. Apparently half the population of Newfoundland has subsisted on lobster at some point or other. From the Hardcover edition.
Myers, Mike, 1963- author.
Comedy superstar Mike Myers writes from the (true patriot) heart about his 53-year relationship with his beloved Canada. Mike Myers is a world-renowned actor, director and writer, and the man behind some of the most memorable comic characters of our time. But as he says: "no description of me is truly complete without saying I'm a Canadian." He has often winked and nodded to Canada in his outrageously accomplished body of work, but now he turns the spotlight full-beam on his homeland. His hilarious and heartfelt new book is part memoir, part history and pure entertainment. It is Mike Myers' funny and thoughtful analysis of what makes Canada Canada, Canadians Canadians and what being Canadian has always meant to him. His relationship with his home and native land continues to deepen and grow, he says. In fact, American friends have actually accused him of enjoying being Canadian-- and he's happy to plead guilty as charged. A true patriot who happens to be an expatriate, Myers is in a unique position to explore Canada from within and without. With this, his first book, Mike brings his love for Canada to the fore at a time when the country is once again looking ahead with hope and national pride. Canada is a wholly subjective account of Mike's Canadian experience. Mike writes, "Some might say, 'Why didn't you include this or that'' I say there are 35 million stories waiting to be told in this country, and my book is only one of them."
The definitive, full-access story of the life and songs of Canada's legendary troubadour Gordon Lightfoot's name is synonymous with timeless songs about trains and shipwrecks, rivers and highways, lovers and loneliness. His music defined the folk-pop sound of the 1960s and '70s, topped charts and sold millions. He is unquestionably Canada's greatest songwriter, and an international star who has performed on the world's biggest stages. While Lightfoot's songs are well known, the man behind them is elusive. He's never allowed his life to be chronicled in a book—until now. Biographer Nick Jennings has had unprecedented access to the notoriously reticent musician. Lightfoot takes us deep inside the artist's world, from his idyllic childhood in Orillia, the wild sixties, and his canoe trips into Canada's North to his heady times atop the music world. Jennings explores the toll that success took on his personal life—including his troubled relationships, his battle with alcohol and his near-death experiences—and the extraordinary drive and tenacity that pulled him through it all. Rich in voices from fellow musicians, close friends, Lightfoot's family and the singer's own reminiscences, the biography tells the stories behind some of his best-known love songs, including "Beautiful" and "Song for a Winter's Night," as well as the infidelity and divorce that resulted in classics like "Sundown" and "If You Could Read My Mind." Kris Kristofferson has called Lightfoot's songs "some of the most beautiful and lasting music of our time." Lightfoot is an unforgettable portrait of a treasured singer-songwriter, an artist whose work has been covered by everyone from Joni Mitchell, Barbra Streisand and Nico to Bob Dylan, Elvis Presley and Gord Downie. Revealing and insightful, Lightfoot is both an inspiring story of redemption and an exhilarating read.
Compulsively readable, this first social history of the opening up of the Canadian West is a triumph of historical detective work and gives us Siggins at the top of her game. While researching the biography of Louis Riel, Maggie Siggins became aware of a figure lurking in the background who had had a profound influence on the great Canadian reformer. This was his grand-mother Marie-Anne Lagimodière, née Gaboury. As Siggins' research progressed, she came to regard Marie-Anne as the most exceptional Canadian woman of the nineteenth century. The perils of Laura Secord and Susanna Moodie paled in comparison, yet she remains largely unknown. Beautiful and rebellious, Marie-Anne was still unmarried at twenty-five — unheard of in 1800s Quebec habitant society. Furthermore, once she did marry Jean-Baptiste Lagimodière, she insisted on accompanying her fur trapper husband to the uncharted wilderness of western Canada. The year was 1807, and no European woman had yet ventured west of the Great Lakes region. For the next thirty years, she would live among the native people or at fur-trading forts from Pembina to Edmonton House, leading an undoubtedly difficult life but one with freedoms unknown to women in western societies of her time. Drawing from primary sources, Siggins paints a vivid portrait of life in the West, from survival on the plains and bison hunts to the tribal warfare triggered by the fur-trade economy. Through it all, Marie-Anne survived and thrived, living to ninety-six, the matriarch of a large and diverse family whose descendants still live in Manitoba. From the Hardcover edition.
Following the fantastic success of his bestselling memoir, Where I Belong , Great Big Sea front man Alan Doyle returns with a hilarious, heartwarming account of leaving Newfoundland and discovering Canada for the first time. Armed with the same personable, candid style found in his first book, Alan Doyle turns his perspective outward from Petty Harbour toward mainland Canada, reflecting on what it was like to venture away from the comforts of home and the familiarity of the island. Often in a van, sometimes in a bus, occasionally in a car with broken wipers "using Bob's belt and a rope found by Paddy's Pond" to pull them back and forth, Alan and his bandmates charted new territory, and he constantly measured what he saw of the vast country against what his forefathers once called the Daemon Canada. In a period punctuated by triumphant leaps forward for the band, deflating steps backward and everything in between—opening for Barney the Dinosaur at an outdoor music festival, being propositioned at a gas station mail-order bride service in Alberta, drinking moonshine with an elderly church-goer on a Sunday morning in PEI—Alan's few established notions about Canada were often debunked and his own identity as a Newfoundlander was constantly challenged. Touring the country, he also discovered how others view Newfoundlanders and how skewed these images can sometimes be. Asked to play in front of the Queen at a massive Canada Day festival on Parliament Hill, the concert organizers assured Alan and his bandmates that the best way to showcase Newfoundland culture was for them to be towed onto stage in a dory and introduced not as Newfoundlanders but as "Newfies." The boys were not amused. Heartfelt, funny and always insightful, these stories tap into the complexities of community and Canadianness, forming the portrait of a young man from a tiny fishing village trying to define and hold on to his sense of home while navigating a vast and diverse and wonder-filled country.
Koul, Scaachi, author.
"In One Day We'll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter, Scaachi Koul deploys her razor sharp humor to share all the fears, outrages, and mortifying moments of her life. She learned from an early age what made her miserable, and for Scaachi anything can be cause for despair. Whether it's a shopping trip gone awry; enduring awkward conversations with her bikini waxer; overcoming her fear of flying while vacationing halfway around the world; dealing with internet trolls, or navigating the fears and anxieties of her parents. Alongside these personal stories are pointed observations about life as a woman of color, where every aspect of her appearance is open for critique, derision, or outright scorn. Where strict gender rules bind in both Western and Indian cultures, leaving little room for a woman not solely focused on marriage and children to have a career (and a life) for herself"-- Provided by publisher.
Orr, Bobby, 1948- author.
"One of the greatest sports figures of all time breaks his silence in a memoir as unique as the man himself. He has never written a memoir, authorized a biography, or talked to journalists about his past, but now he is finally ready to tell his story. Bobby Orr is often referred to as the greatest ever to play the game of hockey. From 1966 through the mid-seventies, he could change a game just by stepping on the ice. No defenseman had ever played the way he did, or received so many trophies, or set so many records, several of which still stand today. But all the brilliant achievements leave unsaid as much as they reveal. They don't tell what inspired Orr, what drove him, what it was like for a shy small-town kid to suddenly land in the full glare of the media. They don't tell what it was like when the agent he regarded as a brother betrayed him and left him in financial ruin. They don't tell what he thinks of the game of hockey today. He is speaking out now because "I am a parent and a grandparent and I believe that I have lessons worth passing on." Orr: My Story is more than a book about hockey-it is about the making of a man"-- Provided by publisher.
Wood, Sharon A., 1957- author.
Roughing It in The Bush chronicles Susanna Moodie's harsh and often humorous experiences homesteading in the woods of Upper Canada. A frank and fascinating account of how one woman coped, not only with a new world, but with a new self, this unabridged text continues to justify the international sensation it caused when it was first published in 1852.
NATIONAL BESTSELLER A bracing, provocative, and perspective-shifting book from one of Canada's most celebrated and uncompromising writers, Desmond Cole. The Skin We're In will spark a national conversation, influence policy, and inspire activists. In his 2015 cover story for Toronto Life magazine, Desmond Cole exposed the racist actions of the Toronto police force, detailing the dozens of times he had been stopped and interrogated under the controversial practice of carding. The story quickly came to national prominence, shaking the country to its core and catapulting its author into the public sphere. Cole used his newfound profile to draw insistent, unyielding attention to the injustices faced by Black Canadians on a daily basis. Both Cole's activism and journalism find vibrant expression in his first book, The Skin We're In . Puncturing the bubble of Canadian smugness and naive assumptions of a post-racial nation, Cole chronicles just one year—2017—in the struggle against racism in this country. It was a year that saw calls for tighter borders when Black refugees braved frigid temperatures to cross into Manitoba from the States, Indigenous land and water protectors resisting the celebration of Canada's 150th birthday, police across the country rallying around an officer accused of murder, and more. The year also witnessed the profound personal and professional ramifications of Desmond Cole's unwavering determination to combat injustice. In April, Cole disrupted a Toronto police board meeting by calling for the destruction of all data collected through carding. Following the protest, Cole, a columnist with the Toronto Star , was summoned to a meeting with the paper's opinions editor and informed that his activism violated company policy. Rather than limit his efforts defending Black lives, Cole chose to sever his relationship with the publication. Then in July, at another police board meeting, Cole challenged the board to respond to accusations of a police cover-up in the brutal beating of Dafonte Miller by an off-duty police officer and his brother. When Cole refused to leave the meeting until the question was publicly addressed, he was arrested. The image of Cole walking out of the meeting, handcuffed and flanked by officers, fortified the distrust between the city's Black community and its police force. Month-by-month, Cole creates a comprehensive picture of entrenched, systemic inequality. Urgent, controversial, and unsparingly honest, The Skin We're In is destined to become a vital text for anti-racist and social justice movements in Canada, as well as a potent antidote to the all-too-present complacency of many white Canadians.
Virtue, Tessa, author.